What inspired the Ioun Stone?

While looking over the rules for Ioun Stones a question came to mind. What inspired the Ioun Stone?

It is present in nearly all editions of D&D, and also made it into Pathfinder. This Pathfinder part intrigues me, as it indicates that the Stones and the name were probably heavily inspired by an outside source. What was that source?

Can a Transmutation Wizard cast ritual transmutation spells to change the active effect of their Stone?

The text for a School of Transmutation wizard’s transmuter’s stone is as follows (PHB p.119):

Each time you cast a transmutation spell of 1st level or higher, you can change the effect of your stone if the stone is on your person.

Does this mean that if a ritual spell such as skywrite (XGE p.165) was cast, the wizard would be able to change what effect their Stone has active?

Does the spell Earth Tremor require loose stone?

The condition for the second effect of Earth Tremor reads (emphasis mine):

If the ground in that area is loose earth or stone

Loose earth is adequately explained in this question referencing the Mold Earth cantrip.

My question is: does “loose” apply to both earth and stone, or does Earth Tremor’s second effect work on non-loose stone, such as a solid stone floor?

Stone of ill Luck Total Bonus

The stone of ill luck cursed magic item from Tales from the Yawning Portal appears as a stone of good luck and says:

it confer’s that item’s property while on your person.

The bonus from the stone of good luck is +1 to saving throws and ability checks. Then under the curse section it says:

while it is on your person, you take a -2 penalty to ability checks and saving throws.

Until the curse is discovered, this is done by the DM in secret.

I see two options for how these bonuses could be added.

1) The stone of ill Luck adds a +1 to applicable rolls, and subtracts 2 as well, for a total change of -1 to applicable rolls. The DM would need to subtract 2 from applicable rolls in secret since the player would be assumed to add the original +1 themselves.

2) The stone of ill luck only appears to be a stone of good luck, and does not actually add the original +1, only subtracting 2 from applicable rolls for a total change of -2 to applicable rolls. The DM would then need to subtract 3 in secret, 2 for the curse and 1 for the incorrectly added bonus.

Option 1 is definitely easier to run and is nicer to the players, but I can also see an argument that the stone appears to add the +1 while not actually adding anything.

What happens to the caster of the Meld into Stone spell when the spell ends naturally?

The 3rd-level spell Meld into Stone has a duration of 8 hours.

But what happens at the end of the 8 hours if the target does not (or can not) leave willingly?

Here are some relevant details:

  • The spell is listed of having a Range of “Touch” but is not clear if you touch a subject on whom to cast the spell or the caster touches the stone to enter. Since the description always uses the pronoun of “you”, not “The target”, I will assume it is the caster.
  • The spell doesn’t require concentration. So in theory it is designed for a caster to use it for a long rest inside of a pillar for safety.

Per the spell description:

You can use your movement to leave the stone where you entered it, which ends the spell. You otherwise can’t move.

[…] a change in its shape (to the extent that you no longer fit within it) expels you […] The stone’s complete destruction (or transmutation into a different substance) expels you…

As stated, a character could take a long rest and over sleep. Or a character is suffering from a previous entanglement and is rendered unconscious (not dead, not 0 hp, just unconscious), restrained ,or paralyzed.

There doesn’t seem to be an ejection when the spell ends clause, nor a “you become part of the stone” statement.

If you cast meld into stone and are in the stone at the end of the spell duration, do you just stay trapped forever?

Can the Meld Into Stone spell be cast on someone else?

I’ve been puzzled by the usefulness of the spell Meld Into Stone, to a point where I’ve wondered if it can be cast on someone else other than the caster. The description for the spell seems to conflict with its range. The description states:

You step into a stone object or surface large enough to fully contain your body, melding yourself and all the equipment you carry with the stone for the duration. Using your movement, you step into the stone at a point you can touch. Nothing of your presence remains visible or otherwise detectable by nonmagical senses. (my emphasis)

So on one hand, given all the references to “you” and “your“, it seems that the spell is only for the caster. But on the other hand, spells that only affect the caster typically have a range of “Self” whereas Meld into Stone has a range of “Touch“. It could be argued that the touch refers to the stone being touched, but could it also mean a target we touch? Can Meld into Stone be cast on someone else other than the caster?

Can Moonbeam Negate Meld into Stone?

I was playing a druid in a free-for-all with other players. In a moment of near death and desperation, I cast meld into stone to escape from a paladin to try and heal a bit. Because it was a Battle Royale, the DM had earlier decided that I could only stay in the wall for 1d6 rounds. I rolled a 4, so I could be in there up to 4 rounds.

However, the paladin cast moonbeam on the area I entered from. He argued that as a druid I classified as a shapeshifter and would have a harder time with the spell save. I said that since I was in total cover, I would be unaffected. In the end it was two against one in reasoning, and they decided that I was considered a shapeshifter. So I rolled the save, I failed it, and was expelled from the wall. The DM said I didn’t have to take the 6d6 damage from the wall but I took radiant damage from moonbeam.

Maybe I’m just salty, but the way I have always understood these spells says that should have never worked. Can someone help me to make sure I am corrected if I misunderstand?

Is there an official source for the properties of stone?

The issue comes up mainly in relation to the spell wall of stone, which states that:

A nonmagical wall of solid stone springs into existence at a point you choose within range. […] The wall is an object made of stone that can be damaged and thus breached. (PHB 287)

The wall is a nonmagical object from the moment it is created. This, to me, reinforces that it is ordinary stone, with all the properties of it. However, the spell unhelpfully neglects to inform us of many of its properties, in particular any damage threshold, resistances and immunities.

Objects are immune to poison and psychic damage. You might decide that some damage types are more effective against a particular object or substance than others. […] Big objects such as castle walls often have extra resilience represented by a damage threshold. (DMG 247)

While we can make up our own ruling, I am interested whether we got any official information that can be applied here.

Is there any officially published material that describes the properties of stone, especially a wall and its resistances, immunities and damage threshold? If yes, what does it say? Bonus points if that wall was created by the spell wall of stone.